PBA: Ginebra, NLEX aim to finish off opponents, complete semifinals cast


Posted at Mar 07 2018 05:54 AM | Updated as of Mar 07 2018 05:57 AM

Can NLEX's Kiefer Ravena and Ginebra's Scottie Thompson be instrumental again in leading their respective teams to victory in Game 2 on Wednesday? File/PBA Media Bureau

All Barangay Ginebra and NLEX want is not to waste their 1-0 lead in their respective quarterfinal series in the PBA Philippine Cup.

For that to happen, according to the head coaches, their players need to think they're not ahead at all.

Ginebra battles Rain Or Shine at 4:30 p.m., while NLEX takes on Alaska at 7 p.m. at Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, as both squads hope to complete the semifinals cast of this all-Filipino tournament. 

NLEX got a leg up on Alaska with a 105-99 win on Monday, thanks in large part to rookie Kiefer Ravena, who finished with 25 points and 3 3-pointers on 64% shooting from the field, and Larry Fonancier (18 points, 4 3-pointers, 9 rebounds).

"The biggest mistake that we can make is to think we will have an easier time than the first time," NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said.

Alaska did its best to make NLEX work for its shots but even though the Aces were plus-14 in field-goal attempts (helped by forcing the Road Warriors to 24 turnovers) they couldn't convert from the floor.

Alaska made just 37% of its field goals (compared with 54% for NLEX) and 5 3-pointers overall (compared with NLEX's 13).

"Kahit gaano kasarap 'yung panalo, kailangan kalimutan and focus on Game 2," Ravena said.

Ginebra coach Tim Cone has the same thinking.

"(A 1-0 series lead) doesn't guarantee us anything," he said. "Hopefully we'd come with a 0-0 mentality on Wednesday."

Scottie Thompson's 14 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists propelled Ginebra to an 88-80 victory over Rain Or Shine.

Thompson's performance earned praise from Cone, calling it "shockingly good."

Now Cone wants the same determination, if not brilliance, out of the rest of his team.

"He kind of epitomizes what we hoped we'd be as a team, hard work and desire," the coach said.

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